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Jokes you need explaining to you

Started by solidified gruel merchant, July 05, 2019, 04:23:44 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

That Bottom gag really is just an example of Richie trying desperately to sound sexy. He's a pathetic man floundering wildly out of his depth. There is nothing more to it than that.

Cuellar

Are you sure it's not a reference to Pete Best's little known compilation album The Best of the Sexmos

Ballad of Ballard Berkley


kalowski

Quote from: easytarget on July 09, 2019, 04:05:13 AM
My wife's gone to that St. Mary town in Devon.

Ottery?

Yes, I am telling you the truth.

Twed


All Surrogate

Julian and Sandy - Bona Seats

Quote
Julian:Do you think he'd enjoy Così Fan Tutte?
Ken:Mozart?
Sandy:Please yourself, we only fix the seats.




Quote from: McFlymo on July 09, 2019, 05:15:04 AM
Is it something to do with "Cosy Fanny"?
Mozart: Moist arse?

It's a stretch, admittedly... In-your-endo... *


* made up my own nonsense / doesn't really work joke.

Quote from: FredNurke on July 09, 2019, 11:51:28 AM
'Mozart and Liszt' is a lesser-used variant of rhyming slang 'Brahms and Liszt', so it could be that.

Quote from: Maurice Yeatman on July 09, 2019, 01:29:56 AM
Hard to get to the bottom of this [audience erupts].  Obviously there's a hint of "arse" in Mozart, but I can't work it out. If it's an obscure Polari pun, how does it get such a quick laugh?

I wonder if it's Feldman and Took amusing themselves by planting a non sequitur to see if the audience will react automatically because of the rhythm of the crosstalk.

Quote from: Autopsy Turvey on July 09, 2019, 12:58:39 PM
Paul Merton has flagged this up, in his autobiography and an interview, as an example of that very phenomeon, noting that he laughed and only then realised that it didn't make sense as a joke. But it had the rhythm and delivery of a joke, so the audience thought they'd heard a joke and reacted generously. Fascinating weird experiment to throw out, but Kenneth Williams could get laughs from the phone book.

Thanks for your thoughts, guys.  The extended laughter and even applause that the line gets makes me think there's more to it than the form-without-content theory.  At least I know I'm not alone in struggling with it.

Autopsy Turvey

Quote from: All Surrogate on July 09, 2019, 09:18:24 PM
Thanks for your thoughts, guys.  The extended laughter and even applause that the line gets makes me think there's more to it than the form-without-content theory.  At least I know I'm not alone in struggling with it.

Funny thing is, I have a memory of being in bed sleep-deprived at 5am after reading's Merton book, and suddenly working out what the Mozart joke was, then falling asleep and not remembering it ever again, but I think it must have been that I had a dream where I thought I'd worked it out, but hadn't.

Autopsy Turvey

Oh and re:Bottom, I think I always thought 'sex mo' was a desperate pun on 'secs' as in a mo is composed of secs, a secs-mo. That's how my mind worked at 15, and I identified with Richie quite strongly.

petril

Quote from: Ballad of Ballard Berkley on July 09, 2019, 06:46:43 PM
That Bottom gag really is just an example of Richie trying desperately to sound sexy. He's a pathetic man floundering wildly out of his depth. There is nothing more to it than that.

I had it down as him being so nervous he fucks up a simple sec/sex pun, goes back, and fucks up the correction. In my head he's going for "see you in a sec...s"

NurseNugent

Quote from: All Surrogate on July 09, 2019, 09:18:24 PM
Julian and Sandy - Bona Seats




Thanks for your thoughts, guys.  The extended laughter and even applause that the line gets makes me think there's more to it than the form-without-content theory.  At least I know I'm not alone in struggling with it.

Isn't mo slang for homosexual? Mozart = Mo's art i.e he's dismissing it as 'for the gays'.

I dunno, best I can do.

Can anyone help with the below from MASH?

Col Buzz Brighton : You call her Hotlips ?
Hawkeye: Yes, and not because she's left-handed.

EbbyVale

Quote from: NurseNugent on July 09, 2019, 10:52:42 PM
Can anyone help with the below from MASH?

Col Buzz Brighton : You call her Hotlips ?
Hawkeye: Yes, and not because she's left-handed.

I liked the dance of that one, though I'm not sure I understood it completely.  It's a cross between the fact that you wholesomely nickname left-handed guys Lefty and you give people an innocent nickname that belies a racy backstory.  In this case the nickname was appallingly literal so it's a feint to nonexistent entendre.

Spudgun

Here's one that's been bothering me since I was little:

https://youtu.be/_ttcsDRfBPM?t=83

Russ Abbot and Les Dennis trading increasingly tall tales, until one of them says he doesn't believe the other. Punchline: "Well you knock ten foot off that whale, and I'll blow the lamp out."

Now, I can see how the line directly relates to what they said, but is there a secondary meaning I'm missing? Surely that can't be it, can it? I always assumed it must have been clever wordplay or something rude, but all these years later I still just can't see the joke. Looking forward to hearing your theories on what knocking ten foot off a whale and blowing a lamp out is slang for.

kittens

Quote from: Autopsy Turvey on July 09, 2019, 09:48:31 PM
Oh and re:Bottom, I think I always thought 'sex mo' was a desperate pun on 'secs' as in a mo is composed of secs, a secs-mo. That's how my mind worked at 15, and I identified with Richie quite strongly.

no, this is not right.

Quote from: petrilTanaka on July 09, 2019, 10:33:34 PM
I had it down as him being so nervous he fucks up a simple sec/sex pun, goes back, and fucks up the correction. In my head he's going for "see you in a sec...s"

this is also incorrect.

Solid Jim

Quote from: Spudgun on July 09, 2019, 11:14:53 PM
Here's one that's been bothering me since I was little:

https://youtu.be/_ttcsDRfBPM?t=83

Russ Abbot and Les Dennis trading increasingly tall tales, until one of them says he doesn't believe the other. Punchline: "Well you knock ten foot off that whale, and I'll blow the lamp out."

They are haggling over the point at which they will (pretend to) believe each other. "You revise your story to make it slightly less implausible and I will do the same." That is, a 50-foot whale and a lamp which was not lit.

Spudgun

Quote from: Solid Jim on July 09, 2019, 11:30:38 PM
They are haggling over the point at which they will (pretend to) believe each other. "You revise your story to make it slightly less implausible and I will do the same." That is, a 50-foot whale and a lamp which was not lit.

Well, yes, that's what they're doing, but - and I'm acutely aware we're talking about Russ Abbot's Madhouse here - where's the joke? Surely, surely, surely there must be more to it than that. It sounds too much like there's something clever about the wording of the punchline (pun/slang/innuendo), otherwise it wouldn't be a punchline, but for the life of me I can't see it. Am I giving them too much credit?

Solid Jim

#135
Quote from: Spudgun on July 09, 2019, 11:54:15 PM
Well, yes, that's what they're doing, but - and I'm acutely aware we're talking about Russ Abbot's Madhouse here - where's the joke? Surely, surely, surely there must be more to it than that. It sounds too much like there's something clever about the wording of the punchline (pun/slang/innuendo), otherwise it wouldn't be a punchline, but for the life of me I can't see it. Am I giving them too much credit?

I suspect so! I think it's just very oddly phrased.

Edit: To expand on this, "knock ten foot off the whale" is instantly recognisable as a figure of speech analogous to, say, knocking ten quid off a price. (I referred to them 'haggling' without having consciously made this connection.) It is an obvious metaphor for a modification of the story. By contrast, "I'll blow out the lamp" is far too literal. Modifying this lamp to have never been lit is not equivalent to blowing it out; for it to be blown out it would have to have been lit in the first place which is of course paradoxical.

What should he have said? Put out the lamp? Extinguish the lamp? Anything that didn't directly conjure the image of him personally, physically blowing out this fictional lamp? I think the only real solution would have been to have him tell a different story to begin with.

Coupled with the fact that it barely qualifies as a joke in the first place, I think the sketch could have benefited from some revision.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

I once read an interpretation of Groucho's gag from Duck Soup - "Go! And don't ever darken my towels again!" - as a racist slur, when it's obviously just a wittier way of saying "Piss off out of my house".

The line isn't directed towards a black person. The object of Groucho's ire is a stuffy white bloke who is doubly affronted by the inference that he has dirty hands.

Mind you, for years I was troubled by Groucho's baffling 'darkies' quip in that very same film, but here's the context.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/That%27s_Why_Darkies_Were_Born

The well-meaning liberal satirical revue of 1933.

Maurice Yeatman

Quote from: kittens on July 09, 2019, 11:27:29 PM
no, this is not right.

this is also incorrect.

Your earlier explanation is what I've always thought was obviously the case. It's Richie ineptly trying to add a bit of raunch and failing.

Maurice Yeatman

The Russ Abbot/Les Dennis thing is one of those quick skits in sketch shows that are just filler, often a rehash of the sort of underwhelming joke that would be going around in pubs at the time. B turning the tables on A with a weak punchline, and that's it. 

Maurice Yeatman

Quote from: NurseNugent on July 09, 2019, 10:52:42 PM
Isn't mo slang for homosexual? Mozart = Mo's art i.e he's dismissing it as 'for the gays'.

Not sure. In Polari, man is omi, gay man is omi polone. Woman is mort or mott, which is close, but I doubt that's it.

Spudgun

Quote from: Solid Jim on July 10, 2019, 12:02:34 AM
To expand on this, "knock ten foot off the whale" is instantly recognisable as a figure of speech analogous to, say, knocking ten quid off a price. (I referred to them 'haggling' without having consciously made this connection.) It is an obvious metaphor for a modification of the story. By contrast, "I'll blow out the lamp" is far too literal.

Which is why I always assumed "I'll blow the lamp out" must be common slang at markets or auctions or something, or a play on words. But, and I can't tell you how willing I am to be corrected on this, it isn't.

QuoteModifying this lamp to have never been lit is not equivalent to blowing it out; for it to be blown out it would have to have been lit in the first place which is of course paradoxical.

Not only that, but going fishing and pulling out a (non-lit) old lamp is nowhere near as unlikely as a catching a whale anyway, whether a 60-foot or the newly-haggled 50-foot one. So that's the logic of the gag out of the window, too!

QuoteWhat should he have said? Put out the lamp? Extinguish the lamp? Anything that didn't directly conjure the image of him personally, physically blowing out this fictional lamp? I think the only real solution would have been to have him tell a different story to begin with.

Coupled with the fact that it barely qualifies as a joke in the first place, I think the sketch could have benefited from some revision.

Point taken, but I still think I'm missing something. Maybe I just can't handle the idea of such hackwork getting a laugh purely because it sounds a bit like a joke rather than actually being one...

Spudgun

Quote from: Maurice Yeatman on July 10, 2019, 12:56:30 AM
...B turning the tables on A with a weak punchline...

"Weak"? No - a weak punchline I could take, but this one's absolutely non-existent. Unless someone can point out the pun or innuendo (or whatever) I'm missing, there's literally no joke there.

(You can probably tell this has bothered me since the mid-80s!)

Maurice Yeatman

If it helps, I can explain Dustin Gee's "I'm the chandler but you can call me Jeff" in the sketch that comes after it. That's shit as well.

Solid Jim

Quote from: Spudgun on July 10, 2019, 01:07:27 AM
"Weak"? No - a weak punchline I could take, but this one's absolutely non-existent. Unless someone can point out the pun or innuendo (or whatever) I'm missing, there's literally no joke there.

(You can probably tell this has bothered me since the mid-80s!)

I suppose if anything, the 'joke' is that Russ lets Les's story pass without comment, but it is subsequently revealed that he knew all along it was bullshit. To our surprise and delight.

It doesn't really come across in the delivery.

Jockice

Quote from: EbbyVale on July 09, 2019, 11:08:01 PM
I liked the dance of that one, though I'm not sure I understood it completely.  It's a cross between the fact that you wholesomely nickname left-handed guys Lefty and you give people an innocent nickname that belies a racy backstory.  In this case the nickname was appallingly literal so it's a feint to nonexistent entendre.

And as for Curly Watts...

Quote from: Solid Jim on July 10, 2019, 08:21:54 AM
I suppose if anything, the 'joke' is that Russ lets Les's story pass without comment, but it is subsequently revealed that he knew all along it was bullshit. To our surprise and delight.

It doesn't really come across in the delivery.

It's just exaggeration and one-upmanship isn't it (as per "it was this big!" fisherman's hyperbole).

First guy says he caught a 60 foot killer whale.

Second guy tries to outdo him with a transparently preposterous claim (pulling up a lamp lit by a naked flame from the river), so he has bargaining power to knock down the first guy's ridiculous claim when he refuses to believe it.

The fact that they had to introduce a silly affectation (Thameses) to try and make it more funny tells you everything about the construction of the sketch.

Ferris

Quote from: Darles Chickens on July 09, 2019, 11:45:25 AM
I first read the "What's the difference between a duck?" joke in the Ha Ha Bonk Book, published 1982.



I'd assumed it originated there, but sounds like it goes back earlier.

I also had another joke book which contained this one which, as a kid, I thought was stupid and unfunny, but in hindsight was probably the best joke in the entire book:

Q: What's the difference between King Kong and a banana?
A: A banana is yellow.

Bizarrely, I read this book (including the joke) today to Ferris Jr.

He's already funnier than I am, but there you go.

kalowski

Quote from: Darles Chickens on July 09, 2019, 11:45:25 AM
I first read the "What's the difference between a duck?" joke in the Ha Ha Bonk Book, published 1982.



I'd assumed it originated there, but sounds like it goes back earlier.
Ooh, I had that. But until now I'd not realised it was my introduction to the Ahlbergs, and not Peepo, which I read to my kids.

kalowski

PS. I told the "Ha Ha Bonk" joke to my kids just last week, along with its distant cousin, the "99 bonk" joke.

Dusty Substance


Knock Knock.
Who's there?
David.
David who?
David the doorbell so I had to knock.

This was in a Knock Knock joke book I had as a kid and just couldn't work it out, so I asked my Dad who didn't know but my clever fan of wordplay Mum mumsplained to me that David is a pun "They've hid", at which point the penny dropped. I then spent the next couple of weeks trying the joke out on everyone at school and gleefully not explaining it to anyone who didn't get it. Like the horrible little cunt I was.

I also had to have the famous Sneeds Feeds And Seeds (formerly Chucks) from The Simpsons joke explained by an ex.